Positive Job Prospects for Communicators Requires Colleges to Make Plans for the Future Needs of the Profession

During the past few months, I have had the privilege to serve on Howard University’s School of Communications Blue Ribbon Panel.  The 24-person panel finished its 3-month assignment yesterday by presenting recommendations for future curriculum, technology needs and opportunities for outreach and fundraising. 

While the panel’s recommendations will require further review and input from faculty and administrators, I was struck with the thoughtful analysis of the future requirements of a best-of-class communications program.  Howard students are being well served by the university’s commitment to doing the best possible job of developing future communications talent.  And they will be entering a profession with excellent growth prospects, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and a global communication consortium. 

Northwestern Integrated Marketing Professor Clarke Caywood is actively following the hopeful job prospects on his blog, IMCProf.  Citing BLS data, Caywood notes public relations will far outstrip “advertising/ promotions” in creating new managerial jobs in the U.S.

The global PR consultancy sector also grew dramatically last year and is expected to grow again in 2011, according to the World Report from the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO).  No surprise that PR gains are coming from digital and social media services versus traditional communication and marketing roles.

Those looking for PR jobs now might question these bullish reports.  While there are more communication jobs globally, the glut of excellent talent will take a while to work through the system, according to recruiters and hiring managers.  Fortunately, the long-term prospects remain excellent, and universities like Howard are forging ahead to ensure the best possible talent bench of future communication leaders.

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